Secrets of business success at your fingertips

Posted by News Express | 8 February 2016 | 2,974 times

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“The spirit, the will to win and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.” —Vince Lombardi.

The current national economic outlook and the impacts to businesses makes it imperative to enlighten and entrench the knowledge of the business community to the realities of the moment, the consequential challenges and more importantly to the opportunities and new developments for innovation and creativity that it has thrown up.

The importance is better appreciated in the informal and import-driven sector of our economy which has been negatively impacted with consequential effects. Such effects include higher cost of credit and foreign exchange, with lesser patronage arising from the reduced public expenditure (austerity measure), increased duties, other charges, levies, taxes, and other economic policies of the government, the central bank and their effects; which poses enormous challenge to the sector and ultimately portends great danger to the social wellbeing of our society and economy.

The micro, small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria are highly informal in their approach and structures, with little or no record keeping system and structures. They have no established processes and procedures, and maintain minimal banking relationship, with absolutely no insurance cover. All these threaten their sustainability, efficient management and adequate expansion, which accounts for why sustainability, growth and expansion are uncommon amongst them.  

This column therefore through the promotion of entrepreneurship would be equipping the readers with the tools to gradually transform their businesses from informal to formal, operated and managed with global best practices that ensure continuous profitability, growth, sustainability and general business success.

It shall be introducing the readers to the basic business tools for running an efficient and effective enterprise that will produce and guarantee growth, sustainability and adequate expansions, while generating employment, wealth creation and enlarged opportunities.

These business skills will guarantee a better accountability and management which will open up access to financiers, investors and suppliers to ensure continuous access to funding and raw materials.

This column will adopt a multidimensional knowledge impartation approach (potpourri of knowledge) that utilises role modeling style of learning to inspire readers.

It will use the experiential knowledge impartation mode from people that have seen it all and experienced similar situations in business and succeeded, to teach from their practical business experiences, so that we can see how it has been done in the past and align our situation to the same principles for speedy result.

The multidimensional learning will include knowledge impartation from the professionals and the academia: the professional knowledge brings order and procedures in business activities, while the academic informs and instills insights from the research and development activities to point the way forward in business; it reveals new approaches and methods to solving problems and how it is practised in other climes, with the localisation and integration methods.

It shall also adopt group-based participation to ensure guaranteed benefits to the readers and on a fundamental basis be able to solve the perceived uniform challenges of the group through the adoption of a systematic approach. Therefore, questions and commentaries from the readers would be welcomed, as this would provide an easy method of monitoring achievements and impacts, in order to plan other improvement approaches.

Once more, I encourage you to keep a date with this column every Monday because it makes the secrets of business success to be available at your fingertips.

Some of the topics we would be sharing insights on include Business structuring; Setting up processes and procedures and developing standard operating procedures (set standard of operations) in growing businesses. Business sustainability procedures and diversification strategies; How to set up financial and administrative record keeping in small businesses and the importance; The role of insurance and risk management to the growth and success of your business; The Nigerian economic business outlook and the impact to businesses – the role of your banks and other financial services providers in navigating through the challenge; Business growth and sustainability through strategic and diversified investments; and so on.

Before I sign off for this week, let me share thoughts on persistence, the importance of believing (or maintaining a believe system) and when to ignore the financial records.

Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, one of the most successful Silicon Valley venture capital companies, once said that leadership is about having your own view, an inner compass.

Entrepreneurs should be wary of whose leading they are following and whose advice they are listening to. Corporate executives, consultants, financial analysts, the traditional bankers and other experts know little or nothing about start-ups or small businesses, unless they have had a stint with one; so be careful about who you are listening to.

“Pursue your true passion and believe your intuition, then the opportunity will come to you'” — Namiko Kajiwara.

The following are some of the factors to consider in your quest for success in any enterprise:

“With enough persistence most things that seem impossible become possible.” —Vinod Khosla.

Persistence pays off: If you actually believe something, you will try your best to make it work. Someone said it doesn’t always happen but it does most of the times. The issue is that most people accept defeat far too easily.

Consider your input: As entrepreneurs our mission is to make positive changes, even when you get a lower rate of return but a higher impact. Our obligation would be to go with that, knowing that at the end we would be creating a greater public good with more social impact, which makes for more conducive environment for commercial endeavours.

People think that business is all about the bottom line, but no, otherwise what is the use of sustainability? What is the worth of making all the money that can't be sustained” Creating a balance is the rule and every enterprise is about creating values; which could be tangible or not: and that’s why there’s the profit, nonprofit and charity enterprises. The commercial and social enterprises, and the non government organisations.

Next week, we shall be delving more on this and deepening the insights. 

•Lawrence Nwaodu is a small business expert and enterprise consultant, trained in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with an MBA in Entrepreneurship from The Management School, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom, and MSc in Finance and Financial Management Services from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Netherlands. Mr. Nwaodu is the Lead Consultant at IDEAS Exchange Consulting, Lagos. He can be reached via (07066375847).

Source: News Express

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